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Next up for Friday Harbor: No. 1 Kalama | Baseball

It’s out of the fire and into the frying pan for the Friday Harbor baseball team.

The Wolverines tallied a total of 36 runs in clinching the district’s No. 1 seed and a berth at State with back-to-back blowouts in the Tri-District tournament, Saturday at Sammamish High School.

They also earned the right to open the 16-team, single-elimination tournament close to home — at Daniels Field in Anacortes —by virtue of those two Tri-District wins.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that the Wolverines (21-1) open the tournament this Saturday against Kalama. In addition to being runner-up at State a year ago, the Chinooks (22-2) have been the top-ranked Division 1A team in the state since the start of the season.

Head Coach Rich Warin expects the Wolverines will have their hands full at the plate against Kalama’s southpaw Nick LaRoy, and that the Chinooks may be even more dangerous after being humbled by regional rival Onalaska in a 9-6 upset in the Southwest district tournament.

The winner advances into the quarterfinal round and a showdown against either Montesano or Orting, with a trip to Yakima on the line. The loser must hang it up for the year.

“Their guy is a caliber of pitcher like Richie (Ochoa) and he throws just about as hard,” Warin said of LaRoy. “Hopefully we can get some hits.”

Base hits came in droves at the Tri-District Tournament.

In the opener, the Wolverines lit up Bellevue Christian with 18 runs and Ochoa gave up just two hits over seven innings en route to a 18-1 victory. Ryan Aylward, Parker Lawson and Ochoa each had three hits and three RBIs. Michael Knowles and Alex Jangard had two hits apiece and together drove in five runs.

The Wolverines were equally explosive against Chimacum in the following game. They scored 18 runs on 16 hits and had command of the contest up until the sixth inning.

Trailing 14-2 in the sixth, the Cowboys narrowed the deficit to six by turning a series of infield base hits and several Friday Harbor miscues into six runs. The Wolverines answered with four runs of their own and senior Albert Strasser shut down the Cowboys in the final two innings to preserve a 18-10 win.

Sophomore Roy Taylor held Chimacum in check for five innings before giving way to Knowles, who tossed two-thirds of an inning, and was replaced by Strasser on the mound.

At the plate, Ochoa tallied three base hits, including a pair of doubles, and five RBIs, Jordan Nash had three base hits and three RBIs, Jangard and Lawson each had two base hits and a pair of RBIs, and Eddie Nash had two base hits, including a double.

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